What Type of Social Worker Will You Be?

collage of people in different work environments

Discover how you can make the world a better place through social work.

In thousands of ways, social workers help people help themselves. We help people of every age and background, in every corner of the country. Wherever we’re needed, that's where you'll find us.

What are your skills and interests?

I am...

A.  a good listener who is supportive

B.  a strategic thinker with big ideas

C.  a patient teacher and problem solver

D.  a good speaker with an interest in political issues

E.  persuasive and diplomatic

I want to make an impact by...

A.  helping people overcome setbacks and challenges

B.  developing programs and policies that improve lives

C.  improving the way social work is practiced and implemented

D.  influencing government to ensure social justice for all

E.  inspiring the community to represent and defend others

I would like to work in...

A.  an individual or group counseling setting

B.  the administrative offices of a program or agency

C.  a classroom or research setting

D.  local, state or national government

E.  a community-based setting

I would like to work with...

A.  individuals and families in need of assistance

B.  agency or program leaders and decision-makers

C.  students, educators and researchers

D.  politicians and community leaders

E.  grassroots organizations and community leaders

I want to spend my day...

A.  working directly with clients

B.  strategizing and implementing programs and policies

C.  conducting research and/or teaching others

D.  lobbying individuals, agencies and organizations for legislative action

E.  championing the rights of individuals and communities


How did you answer?

young man with clipboard faces a person with white hair

Mostly A's: Consider clinical or direct services

Clinicians or direct service providers work closely with individuals, groups and families helping them address challenges and setbacks. These issues can range from physical disabilities or emotional problems to career and financial difficulties. This type of social work puts an emphasis on evaluating and treating clients in the context of their environment.

Mostly B's: Consider management or administration

a woman in a jacket and man in white jacket with stethoscope in conversation

Managers and administrators are responsible for developing programs and policies within an agency or organization. This type of social work requires good analytical and decision-making skills to weigh out options and decide the best course of action. You must also be able to see a program or policy through from start to finish.

Mostly C's: Consider education or research

woman writes on board with students behind her

Educators and researchers investigate and develop new methods of practicing social work and/or teaching social work to others. Researchers study human behavior and apply their problem-solving skills in a scientific and systematic manner. Teachers must be able to provide information in a way that is clear and meaningful.

Mostly D's: Consider legislation or policy

woman stands in front of building with columns, dome and flags

As a legislator or policymaker, you help ensure social justice by influencing policies and legislation on everything from equal opportunities in the workplace to criminal justice. You should have an interest in politics and ability to speak up for what you believe is right.

Mostly E's: Consider community organizing or advocacy

smiling woman with clipboard reaching out to shake someone's hand

As a community organizer or advocate, you inspire people and mobilize resources to bring about social change. Community organizers champion the rights of individuals and communities by securing direct services and empowering others to improve their lives.